Our Cherokee

our cherokee 2013 A PUBLICATION OF THE CHEROKEE COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Friendly metro Industrious hospitable Awesome unsurpassed Growing inviting green family Historic dynamic opportunity THRIVING beautiful Versatile Progressive ESTABLISHED quality community prosperous fun diverse scenic transitioning welcoming home comfortable convenient


2013 Quality of Life Magazine for Cherokee County Georiga

Transcript of Our Cherokee

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For over 40 years the Cherokee County Chamber has led the efforts of the business community in order to create economic viability, which encourages people and businesses to make their homes here. The growth of Cherokee County has positioned the Chamber as the leading business organization in the community.

Organizations like Chambers of Commerce don’t lead themselves - they are directed by those who have the best interest of the community at heart. For you see, as the county grows so does the Chamber. The mission of the Chamber, which serves Canton, Woodstock, Ball Ground, Holly Springs and Waleska, is to promote business and the community while expanding the economy and enhancing the quality of life. Through an increasing membership base, coupled with countless volunteers, the Cherokee County Chamber will continue to achieve its mission.

During 2012, Tom Heard, General Manager of the Cherokee Water & Sewer Authority, led the Chamber. As Tom reflected on his term as Chairman of the Board, he touched on what he considers to have been “a humbling experience. “While serving as the 2012 Chamber Chair, I was able to be involved in almost all aspects of the Chamber operations to some degree or another, which only increased my respect for the Chamber staff along with the many volunteers, who due to their time, efforts, and commitment, make the Cherokee County Chamber the organization it has become.” Mr. Heard went on to say that “our Chamber is the definition of community to me. Individuals from different backgrounds work together for a single purpose which is to promote and enhance not only our local economy but the quality of our lives.”

In 2013 the Chamber is being led by Randy Gravley of WLJA 101.1 FM and Enjoy! Cherokee magazine. “I look forward to working with the board of directors, staff and our Chamber members as we all work to make our businesses and county strong and vibrant,” commented Mr. Gravley. “The Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce is one of the most respected Chambers in Georgia, and I look forward to working with our members, staff and board to continue that distinction.”

From small business and entrepreneurial collaboration to leadership development, educational initiatives, governmental affairs and networking events of various descriptions, the Cherokee County Chamber prides itself on being a member services driven organization. The Chamber will be more focused than ever in 2013 on providing for those who seek success in Cherokee County. The array of opportunities provided to members, residents and potential newcomers are promoted online via www.CherokeeChamber.com, providing individuals with the chance to become more readily connected with the Chamber and Cherokee County as a whole.

Always looking to the future, the Chamber will be led in 2014 by Lewis Cline, Community Executive & Senior Vice President for Bank of North Georgia in both Cherokee and Pickens Counties. “I am honored and humbled to join such a strong group of community leaders who have served as past Chamber Chairs. My desire is to live up to the expectations of our membership by continuing to promote business and the community, while expanding our local economy and enhancing the quality of life for all in our great county.”

Motivator John C. Maxwell once said, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” For over 40 years just those types of people have led the Cherokee County Chamber. The future will be no different.

(Standing left, Lewis Cline, right, Randy Gravley and sitting Tom Heard)

www.CherokeeChamber.com 1

“The mission of the Chamber is to promote business

and the community while expanding the economy and

enhancing the quality of life.”

Chamber Leadership - The Past, Present & Future...


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2 www.CherokeeChamber.com

4 Creating Prosperity The Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce

6 Growing A Business FactoryMation

8 Year-Round Swimming Cherokee County Aquatic Center

10 21st Century Careers Cherokee Students Prepping

12 Celebrating 50 Years Kennesaw State University

14 Filling the Skills Gap Chattahoochee Technical College

16 A Melding of Change & Tradition Reinhardt University

18 Building a Better Health Care System Northside Hospital

22 Big Challenges Bright Future Cherokee County

24 Committed to Caring WellStar Health System

26 Affordable I.T. Support Entrepreneur of the Year

34 Capable, Energetic & Devoted Cherokee County’s Top 10 in 10

40 Woodstock’s Retail Bonanza

42 About Us Communities in Cherokee County

54 It Takes A Village Elm Street Cultural Arts Village

58 Calendar of Events

63 Newcomer Information

64 Stats - Cherokee County

This publication was produced for the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce byAdvertising Dynamics, Inc.P.O. Box 1345 · Rome, Georgia 30162706.290.0202 · www.adigeorgia.com

Reproduction, in whole or part, of this publication without expressed or written consent of publisher is strictly prohibited.


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4 www.CherokeeChamber.com


The Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce is the county’s largest and strongest business-to-business network. Founded over 40 years ago, the Chamber

is a highly proactive and visible influence in Cherokee County. While the majority of member businesses have ten or fewer employees, the Chamber provides a forum for businesses of all sizes and types.

Serving more than 1,000 members through professional and personal development opportunities, while promoting a strong, vigorous economic climate in Cherokee County, the Chamber remains an active, viable organization after more than 40 years of service. Not only does the Chamber create an atmosphere for new business growth in the county, the Chamber also strives to ensure existing businesses thrive and newcomers and visitors recognize what Cherokee County has to offer.

The staff provides many services and resources – some of these are available to the public, others specifically to

Chamber members. Business and community leaders volunteer hundreds of hours each year as they review challenges, seek solutions and explore new ideas in order to make Cherokee County a progressive, prosperous and imminently livable community. The organization’s membership elects a Board of Directors to oversee the Chamber and its initiatives. The Directors then elect a Board Chair who steers the organization along the pathway to success. Since the Chamber’s inception in 1970 the roster of former Chairs continues to include the best of the best!

The Chamber, and its staff, is also actively involved with organizations such as the Georgia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (GACCE) as well as the Georgia and US Chambers of Commerce. The Cherokee County Chamber was designated by GACCE as a Georgia Certified Chamber, a program designed to promote public awareness of the intent of the chamber of commerce brand as a not-for-profit community development-based business membership

The Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce

Serving more than 1,000 members through

professional and personal development

opportunities, while promoting a strong,

vigorous economic climate in Cherokee County,

the Chamber remains an active, viable

organization after more than 40 years of service.

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www.CherokeeChamber.com 5

organization by providing a peer review process of generally accepted chamber of commerce organizational benchmarks. Only one of 36 Chambers in Georgia to carry the Certified Chamber title, the Cherokee County Chamber was in the inaugural group of 25 honorees announced in 2011. They will seek recertification in 2016.

Chamber initiatives focus on a variety of aspects yet follow a common thread of meeting the Chamber’s mission to promote business and the community, while expanding the economy and enhancing the quality of life. This litmus test is conducted annually for each effort the organization under takes.

From ongoing committees to short-term task force options, there are ample ways to become an engaged member of the Cherokee County Chamber. For those anxious to network, the Chamber provides those opportunities as well. In fact, the Cherokee County Chamber prides itself on being promoted, by its members, as a relationship building organization.

A full listing of the Chamber’s initiatives, programs and activities is promoted online at www.CherokeeChamber.com. You can also become our friend on Facebook to learn more first-hand. Consider the following options just a random sampling of what is offered to our members.

The Governmental Affairs Council promotes the Chamber’s annual legislative focus while also providing to the membership ‘Call to Action’ and ‘Legislative Updates’ relative to legislative issues of concern to businesses. Collaboration with elected officials goes hand in hand with coordinating the annual Cherokee Day at the Capitol, Elected Officials Appreciation Reception, Annual Legislative Survey and Legislative Appreciation event.

For those interested in more specific initiatives, Going Green focuses on the environment and how to save money

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6 www.CherokeeChamber.com

In 2005, as economists forecasted the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression,

few entrepreneurs felt that it was the best time to launch a new business. But where others saw obstacles, Russ Sanders, owner of FactoryMation saw opportunity. “Most people would say that I could not have picked a worst time start a business,” affirms Sanders. “But we kind of do things differently, and it’s worked out really well for us.”

He launched the business from the basement of his Cherokee County home in 2005, and within three years, FactoryMation expanded to a larger facility near Cherokee County’s airport. In 2008 they became the first tenant in The Bluffs, a mixed-use development in Canton. In the worst of economic times, they have experienced 20 to 25 percent growth each year since start-up. Sanders notes that they are now looking forward to moving into a new space in The Bluffs next year—an expansive 60,000 square foot building to accommodate future growth of the burgeoning business.

Specializing in automated industrial controls, FactoryMation created a low-overhead business model and targeted an under served segment of the market—the 85,000 small businesses that make products and the small businesses that make the equipment for these small factories here in the United States. Sanders also came up with a successful pricing model. “Small businesses really are the driving force of our economy. Of the 110,000 factories that make things in the U.S., 85,000 are considered small businesses. Larger companies like General Electric, Siemens and Rockwell work with the larger factories, but they can’t offer the smaller companies the same competitive prices that they offer the larger companies,” explains Sanders, a graduate of Georgia Tech’s electrical engineering program and Georgia State’s MBA program. “These 85,000 small

growinga business

businesses account for 40 percent of the purchases in the industry. We offer these smaller companies low net pricing that is less than the price they can get from General Electric or one of the other large companies. This in turn enables the small businesses to be competitive with the larger manufacturers.”

Sanders says that their ability to fill orders quickly is another key to their success. FactoryMation currently has 30 employees serving about 20,000 customers, mostly in

the U.S. With an expansive distribution hub that houses more than 40,000 products FactoryMation offers prompt shipment of a vast selection of products. “When the economy went south, a lot of distributors cut back their inventory, but we did the opposite and beefed ours up. We have a 96 percent fill rate on orders. Most of the time we can ship complete orders the same day they are placed,” Sanders explains. “Many of our first-time customers are pleasantly surprised by our level of customer service, the availability of inventory and the immediacy of shipping. We make it very easy to do business with us, both online and through our call center.”

Primarily a wholesaler and distributor, FactoryMation also does some light manufacturing. “We do some modifications here—custom product configuration or anything that we can do to add value to the components. And we offer engineering support—assisting in the installation process or troubleshooting challenges.”

What does the future hold for FactoryMation? Sanders says that prospects for 2013 are good. “We expect to see another year of 20 to 25 percent growth, and we will likely be hiring another six or seven people this year as our business continues to grow. We’re looking forward to breaking ground on our new building soon and moving in by this summer.”


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“Small businesses really are the driving force of our economy. Of the 110,000 factories that make things in the U.S., 85,000 are considered small businesses.

Larger companies like General Electric, Siemens and Rockwell work with the larger factories, but they can’t offer the smaller companies the same competitive prices

that they offer the larger companies.”Russ Sanders, Owner, FactoryMation

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L ife is going to get wetter and sweeter for many Cherokee County residents and families when the new Cherokee County Aquatic Center opens this spring. The state-of-

the-art center will feature opportunities for enhanced recreational activities and offer a full range of aquatic programming including competitive and recreational swimming, learn-to-swim programs, aqua therapy, aquatic exercise classes and more.

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large-scale, year-round

swimmingOpen Soon! “Our goal is to provide quality aquatic services year round in a safe, well-maintained, attractive facility,” says Bryan Reynolds, director of the Cherokee Recreation and Parks Agency (CRPA), the managing entity. “There are options here for recreational swimmers, competitive swimmers and people who want to maintain their fitness or rehab an injury. And it’s conveniently located, affordable and

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Open Soon!

Cherokee County Aquatic Center

What: Will encompass 48,000 square feet indoors and an additional 18,000 square feet outdoors with a leisure pool and deck area.

When: Facility is scheduled to open April 2013. The outdoor area will open in May when the weather is warmer.

Where: Located conveniently off of I-575 at the Sixes Road exit in Holly Springs.

For more information, visit CRPA.net

available year round—not just in the warm summer months.”

The opening of the aquatic center means more families will have access to affordable indoor recreation and exercise during the long winter months. Cherokee families can spend less time and resources traveling to facilities in neighboring counties, and more time and resources closer to home. In fact

the competitive swimming program is expected to attract swimmers from other areas and provide a boost to the local economy. The center will feature an indoor 50-meter competition pool with seating for 700 guests. “We expect the facility will have an economic impact on the county. Numerous swim teams will rent lane space from us and

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10 www.CherokeeChamber.com

I f you were given 20 pieces of spaghetti, an arms length of tape, a meter of string, and a marshmallow, how tall could you build a free-standing tower?

This engineering design challenge is one of the hands-on exercises that students at Ball Ground Elementary School’s new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Academy are faced with. Working in small groups, they are tasked with using the uncooked spaghetti to build the tallest tower possible that will support a marshmallow on top. With just 20 minutes to complete the challenge, they utilize the increasingly familiar engineering process—asking, imagining and planning their ideas before they actually create their tower, experiment with it and then make improvements.

In the new robotics lab, third-graders use various Lego robotic components with motors and sensors and program

it with a computer to create a robotic lion that stands, sits and roars. Interactive lessons like these at Cherokee’s STEM Academies are creating an interest in engineering as well as teaching students basic engineering principals.

“The students are not only learning basic engineering concepts and processes, they are beginning to become problem solvers and critical thinkers, and they are enjoying doing it,” says Doug Knott, principal at Ball Ground Elementary School. “Everyone is enthusiastic about the program.”

Knott, in his eighth year as principal at Ball Ground, emphasizes that although the students enjoy the hands-on activities, the program is not just about having fun. “The

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cherokee students prepping for

21st century careers

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Small classesCaring faculty & staff Challenging programs

And even more...Exciting sports & clubs

Welcoming residence halls reinhardt.edu/admissions

Traditional and Online programs for busy adults reinhardt.edu/working_adults Healthcare Administration, Criminal Justice reinhardt.edu/online

Graduate programs MBA, MAT, MM, M.Ed., MPA reinhardt.edu/graduate

Community outreach programs Falany Performing Arts Center reinhardt.edu/FPAC

Funk Heritage Center reinhardt.edu/Funk

Visit Us Today!


Falany Performing Arts Center Funk Heritage Center More than 40 Programs 17 Scholarship Sports

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were nine buildings under construction. We have finished all of those plus eight more and a stadium. That includes significant on-campus student housing and a popular dining hall. Nearly 3,600 students live on campus now, which is one of the highest percentages for on-campus housing in the state,” Olney says.

The proximity to Cherokee means that the growth in Cherokee has helped to fuel KSU’s growth. Of KSU’s 60,000 degreed alumni, nearly 7,500 reside in Cherokee County along with 3,000 current students. Additionally, KSU’s Continuing Education program has 22,000 to 25,000 non-degreed students annually and a large percentage are from Cherokee County.

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Nearby Kennesaw State University, which began as a two-year junior college in 1963 with 1,000 students, has experienced tremendous growth since

its inception. As the school marks its 50-year anniversary in 2013, it is the third largest school in the state of Georgia with nearly 25,000 students. Much of the growth has been in the last decade. “In 2000 we were at 12,000 students. So we’ve more than doubled in the last 12 years,” notes George Olney, assistant athletic director. “We have become the driving academic center for Northwest Georgia, offering 40 undergraduate degrees, 30 master’s degrees, five PhD degrees and many post graduate certificates.”

KSU’s physical growth has paralleled the academic growth with the addition of numerous buildings on the 328-acre campus. “When I started work here eight years ago, there


Kennesaw StateUniversity

...committed to offering ongoing learningopportunities and

enrichment foreveryone in

the community

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13Weekscollege of continuing

and professional educationOver 40 prOfessiOnal certificates

classrOOm & Online OptiOns available

ccpe.kennesaw.edu 770.423.6765ksu center, 3333 BusBee drive nw, kennesaw, Ga 30144

new careerLaunch Your

in asLittle as

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14 www.CherokeeChamber.com

filling the skills gapChattahoochee Technical College

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see new programs, opportunities and students in Cherokee County,” says Dr. Ron Newcomb, Chattahoochee Technical College president. “Through collaboration with business and industry in the area, Chattahoochee Technical College will strengthen the curriculum of its current programs to meet the needs of industry professionals and explore new programs to educate a productive workforce for this community and region.”

Despite high unemployment rates locally and nationally, more than 90 percent of the graduates of Chattahoochee Technical College get jobs.

New programs have already been added to the schedule at the Canton campus, including Clinical Laboratory Technology, which began in Fall of 2012, Air Conditioning Technology with a new state of the art lab, continuing

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Despite high unemployment rates locally and nationally, more than 90 percent of the graduates of Chattahoochee Technical College (CTC) get jobs.

This might explain why the college has grown significantly over the last few years. With its student enrollment consistently topping 11,000 students, Chattahoochee Tech is now the largest technical college in Georgia and was ranked among the top 20 two-year colleges in the nation by Community College Week magazine. The college awarded 1,957 technical certificates of credit in fiscal year 2012, a 22 percent increase from the previous year.

The college’s eighth campus opened in Canton in 2011. The Canton campus is the second facility for Cherokee County, as the college already had a campus in Woodstock at the former Woodstock Elementary School. The Woodstock campus continues to offer courses in general education, early childhood care and education, criminal justice technology and management courses. Recent agreements have the campus slated for renovations that will provide an update to instructional space and a better atmosphere for students, faculty and staff.

Making sure that its graduates have the skills local employers need is an ongoing priority for CTC. “The new year at Chattahoochee Technical College will continue to

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Cobb EMC is making strides to diversify its energy portfolio to include renewable energy for our members. The cooperative recently signed a power purchase agreement for solar power from Washington County’s Azalea Solar Facility, the largest solar power plant to be built in Georgia. Members can do their part, too. Installing qualified solar electric panel systems or solar water heaters can earn members rebates from Cobb EMC. Visit www.cobbemc.com/renewableenergy to learn more.

New Day. New Energy. Cobb EMC

16 www.CherokeeChamber.com

Since taking the reins at Reinhardt University 10 years ago, Reinhardt President Dr. J. Thomas Isherwood has enjoyed seeing the institution

grow...yet remain the same in many key ways. “Reinhardt University is now the most dynamic institution of higher learning in the state of Georgia,” he says. “New buildings, new programs, and new student opportunities have produced growth unmatched throughout our state. While our development has been exciting and challenging, we remain committed to providing personal attention and care for each student,” he affirms. “Reinhardt University is an interesting, exciting and rewarding mixture of change and tradition committed to shaping lives and building futures.”

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a melding of


Reinhardt University

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Cobb EMC is making strides to diversify its energy portfolio to include renewable energy for our members. The cooperative recently signed a power purchase agreement for solar power from Washington County’s Azalea Solar Facility, the largest solar power plant to be built in Georgia. Members can do their part, too. Installing qualified solar electric panel systems or solar water heaters can earn members rebates from Cobb EMC. Visit www.cobbemc.com/renewableenergy to learn more.

New Day. New Energy. Cobb EMC

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18 www.CherokeeChamber.com

• A Multi-specialty Medical Office Building and Cancer Center;• A600-spaceparkingdeckand300surfaceparkingspaces.

“We hope to break ground on the hospital in the spring. The hospital has expanded and enhanced services over the years to provide the very best care and facility possible. Continued population growth and facility constraints are the reason a new hospital and campus will be constructed. The new location will increase access to Northside’s high-quality health care services,” says Russ Davis, director of Marketing and Public Relations at Northside Hospital.

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R esidents of Cherokee County can look forward to additional facilities and improved health care services throughout the county. Northside

Hospital-Cherokee will begin constructing a new replacement hospital in Canton in spring of 2013. The site of the replacement hospital will be off I-575 at the GA Hwy 20 exit, near the Canton Marketplace development—less than three miles from its current location. The new site will have excellent visibility from major roads and thoroughfares. The project has a March 2015 expected opening date and will include:• An84-bedhospitalfacility;• AdistinctWomen’sCenter;

buildinga better health care system

Northside Hospital-Cherokee

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W’ H T S Y.


24 hr. Emergency Services (Adult & Pediatric)

Breast Care Center

Cancer Institute

Critical / ICU Care

Heart & Vascular Institute Cardiac Catheterization Lab

Imaging / Interventional Radiology Services

Maternity / Special Care Nurseries

Nutritional & Diabetes Services

Pediatric Inpatient Services

Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation

Radiation Oncology

Rehabilitation Services

Sleep Disorders Center

Surgical Services


A Lifetime of Care

New Emergency Services entrance

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The Superintendent’s vision is for the Academies to be expanded in subsequent school years to provide continuous education in STEM and Fine Arts as participating students progress to middle and high school, as well as to open a Technical High School Academy and Advanced Academics Academies, with a timeline to be developed. Admission to the Academies is open to all students in Cherokee County. Students do not need to meet advanced academic requirements in order to elect to transfer to one of the four STEM Academies. The Academies’ application process for the 2013-14 school year will be held in the spring. New transfers will be accepted through this process just as they were for the current school year on a first-come, first-served basis, as long as there is capacity at the Academies. The new Ball Ground school has capacity for 1200 students and about 550 are currently enrolled. About 20 of these have transferred here from other schools. “Traditionally students are reluctant to leave their home school. However, we anticipate an increase in transfers next year—now that parents have seen how successful the program is.” (The other three STEM academies are Canton, Holly Springs and Clark Creek Elementary Schools.) For some students the decision to transfer was an easy one. “My favorite part of school is building in the robotics lab and doing design challenges with my friends. STEM helps me with problem solving skills, and if I grow up to be an engineer, I will know how to build things,” says an enthusiastic fourth grader.

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(21st Century Careers continued from page 10)

STEM program is geared toward developing students along new career pathways that are opening up in the 21st century. They are going to have a real sound foundation for developing these much needed job skills. And the critical thinking skills students are developing through this program of study now will help make them better employees regardless of the career path they choose.”

Cherokee County School District’s four STEM Academies offer specially designed curriculum, materials and technology for all students on the four campuses, with a minimum of two 18-week STEM units a year for grades 3-5 and exploratory activities for grades K-2. The STEM Academies are part of the larger Cherokee Academies initiative, which was developed at the request of Mike Chapman, whose term on the Cherokee County School Board recently ended, to offer increased academic choices within the Cherokee County School District. The initiative also includes Fine Arts Academies, which opened this school year at two elementary schools; Hasty and Oak Grove. Traditional curriculum is still taught at all the schools, but at the Academies, STEM or Fine Arts exercises are frequently integrated into lessons in all subject areas.

All of the STEM Academies are exceeding minimum requirements with a variety of innovative programs, clubs and partnerships. Clark Creek Elementary School STEM Academy’s has a partnership with NASA that will include a virtual field trip to the International Space Station in January and the opportunity to speak to astronauts aboard it. “We are working at setting up an interactive session with NASA also,” Knott says. “Our new video conferencing equipment has opened up the entire world to us through a fieldtrip perspective—we can talk to other STEM schools or experts, or students in other cultures across the globe. We can have live video interaction where we can ask questions and talk back and forth.”

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As your hometown community bank, Bank of North Georgia is committed to providing Cherokee county residents with the highest quality products and services backed by world-class customer service. From the expert advice you want, to the flexible products you need, we’re here to help you achieve, grow and prosper.

Canton 770-479-5546 • Woodstock 770-591-6462. www.bankofnorthgeorgia.com

Bank of North Georgia is a division of Synovus Bank. Synovus Bank, Member FDIC, is chartered in the state of Georgia and operates under multiple trade names across the southeast. Divisions of Synovus Bank are not separately FDIC-insured banks. The FDIC coverage extended to deposit customers is that of one insured bank.


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big challengesbrightfuture

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Cherokee County

Blankets Creek

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www.CherokeeChamber.com 23

A ccessible high-quality educational opportunities, valuable well-planned infrastructure and a low cost of living coupled with an excellent quality of life are

just a few of the reasons that Cherokee County is prospering and growing despite the roadblocks posed by a lackluster national recovery. According to Misti Martin, president of Cherokee’s Office of Economic Development, existing industries are continuing to thrive. “Thirteen Cherokee industries expanded in 2011-2012 creating more than $46 million in investments and over 400 new jobs. And 57 percent of existing industries plan to expand in the next three years, according to a recent survey.” This healthy economic climate consequently makes Cherokee an attractive option for new businesses. Martin says that approximately one half of a billion dollars ($489,654,000) in new investment is forecast for Cherokee by 2015; $239,654,000 within the next year.

“Economic development is Cherokee’s number one priority,”

Martin affirms. “Our main goal is to improve the economic

wellbeing of our county through efforts that entail job

creation, job retention, tax base enhancements and quality of

life improvements.” Cherokee’s leadership has worked hard to create an attractive climate for economic development—the school system had the highest SAT scores in the state in 2012 and Reinhardt University and Chattahoochee Technical College are thriving and producing an educated and highly skilled work force. Residents enjoy an outstanding quality of life with access to a variety of cultural arts options, diverse housing, superior healthcare, a first-class regional airport, outstanding parks and recreational opportunities including one of the top mountain biking destinations in the state and the new aquatic center slated to open in April.

“Cherokee County is recognized as a county on the move—taking bold steps during the recession to invest millions in infrastructure to accommodate the expansion of

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Misti Martin

Gibbs Garden

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WellStar Health System, a not-for-profit healthcare system with a mission of providing world-class healthcare, is committed to providing the residents

of Cherokee County world-class healthcare close to home. “As Cherokee County continues to grow, WellStar will continue to invest in new programs and services that are needed by this community,” says Keith Bowermaster, director of Public Relations for WellStar.

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committed tocaring

WellStar Health System

WellStar is committed to providing world-class

healthcare close to home

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we’ve got you covered.Cherokee County

W e l l S t a r i m a g i n g S e r v i c e S

WellStar Imaging Services now offers two locations in Cherokee County for all of your outpatient imaging needs including:

Conveniently located in Canton and in Towne Lake, WellStar Imaging Services invites you to call our scheduling number at 678-581-5900 to schedule your next imaging appointment.

WELLSTAR KEnnESTonE ImAgIng CEnTER AT ToWnE LAKEA Service of WellStar Kennestone Hospital

120 Stone Bridge Parkway, Suite 300 South Cherokee Medical Center | Woodstock, GA 30189 Monday - Friday: 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM 678-494-2440

WELLSTAR CAnTon ImAgIng CEnTER A Service of WellStar Kennestone Hospital

720 Transit Avenue | Suite 201 | Canton, GA 30114 Monday - Friday: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM 770-479-4847

Breast mrict ScanDeXa Bone DensitometryDigital mammography

Digital X-rayHeart Screeninglaboratory Services

lung Screeningmri (High-Field Open and 1.5)Ultrasound

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Delphi Global Technology

affordablei.t. supportfor small businesses

entrepreneur of the year

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The last thing that anyone wants to be thinking about when

they go to work is whether or not their computer is going to boot up and function properly. We want our IT infrastructure to be like the overhead lights—we flip a switch and it works. But many small businesses don’t have the cash flow or necessity for an internal full time IT person to ensure that IT works seamlessly, and they only call a tech support company when a crash

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(Building continued from page 18)

Meanwhile 11 miles down the road in Woodstock, another Northside project is underway. Duke Realty has begun development of a new 100,817 square-foot, four-story Northside Cherokee Towne Lake Medical Office Building (MOB) at 900 Towne Lake Parkway. The MOB will be leased solely by Northside Hospital and will house a wide variety of outpatient health care services and physician practices representing numerous medical specialties. “There will be many more physician practices and specialties in the new MOB. Therefore, the advantage to Cherokee residents is increased access to physicians and Northside outpatient services on a new, state-of-the-art medical campus,” notes Davis.

“With the long-anticipated replacement hospital soon to be under construction and two comprehensive outpatient medical campuses in this area, patients will have even greater access to Northside’s high-quality medical services. We are excited about this project and the increased access it will provide the community to the high-quality health care services and facilities they have come to expect from Northside,” says Billy Hayes, CEO of Northside Hospital-Cherokee. “This new campus is sure to be a valuable health care asset to the citizens of south Cherokee.

Not only will residents have greater access to health care, the quality of that care continues to improve as Northside achieves higher industry standards and earns accreditation in additional areas of care. Three areas in which Northside Hospital-Cherokee gained significant recognition in 2012 were cancer treatment along with cardiovascular and stroke care.

Patients facing cancer can receive outstanding cancer care right here in Cherokee County at Northside Hospital’s Cancer Institute. Recognized nationally as a leader in cancer diagnosis, treatment and research, Northside is the only Atlanta

area hospital chosen to be a Community Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute. In fact, the medical director of Northside Hospital’s NCI Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP), Guilherme Cantuaria, MD, PhD, has been nominated by his peers to co-chair the Program’s national clinical trials subcommittee. This prestigious honor will allow Cantuaria to develop, initiate and conduct innovative clinical trials that will benefit patients both nationally and locally.

The hospital recently received full accreditation as a Chest Pain Center with PCI (Percutaneous Coronary Interventions) from the Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC), an international not-for-profit organization that focuses on transforming cardiovascular care by assisting facilities in their effort to create communities of excellence that bring together quality, cost and patient satisfaction. According to SCPC, the average patient arrives in the emergency department more than two hours after the onset of symptoms. What patients don’t realize is that the sooner a heart attack is treated the better the outcome with less damage to the heart. Hospitals that have received SCPC accreditation have achieved a higher level of expertise in dealing with these patients.

After undergoing a rigorous on-site evaluation and demonstrating compliance with nationally developed standards for stroke care, Northside Hospital-Cherokee has been awarded Advanced Certification as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission, in conjunction with The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

“Northside Hospital-Cherokee is honored to receive this distinction from The Joint Commission as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center,” says Hayes. “It celebrates the hard work of our staff, demonstrates our commitment to higher standards, gives us the opportunity to highlight the exceptional care we provide for our patients, and helps us improve care overall for our community.”

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Personal Bankingn Checking and Savings Accounts

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Page 32: Our Cherokee

30 www.CherokeeChamber.com

(Celebrating 50 Years continued from page 12)

The proximity also gives local residents easy access to NCAA Division I sporting events and an array of arts and cultural experiences. The school boasts 17 competitive sports programs—ten women’s teams and seven men’s teams—and is looking to expand that number. Since becoming a member of the NCAA Division I, competing in the Atlantic Sun Conference, the Kennesaw State Owls have won a total of 12 conference championships with the men’s golf team making a national championship appearance in 2011. Men’s basketball is currently the most popular spectator sport on campus and garnered national attention when they defeated Georgia Tech in 2010. KSU Stadium, which opened in 2010 and seats 8,300 fans is the home of the Owls women’s soccer team and is the future home of Owls women’s lacrosse beginning in 2013. The stadium has already played host to several world-renowned sporting events, including the 2011 NCAA Women’s College Cup - the Final Four of women’s soccer.

The university recently completed phase III of the sports and recreation park that includes nine new fields, an NCAA-regulation track and a nine-acre lake that is circled by a walking-jogging trail—all adjacent to the 8,300-seat stadium. “This is a great acquisition for us and an important addition to our infrastructure. A lot of people in the community use the fields. The one-mile walking-jogging track in the park is popular with students and local residents. We just had our first concert in the stadium and we are looking at hosting additional concerts and festivals for the enjoyment of the community as well as students, faculty and staff,” Olney explains.

KSU offers a wide variety of arts events and cultural experiences for students and the community. The KSU College of the Arts presents more than 200 public performances and exhibitions each year, and curates the university’s Permanent Collection of Art. The KSU College of Humanities and Social Sciences is home to several specialized centers for history and culture. In addition to its other excellent services, the Horace W. Sturgis Library also maintains several specialized collections, including those in the Bentley Rare Book Gallery. The Museum of History and Holocaust Education explores the lives and experiences of World War II and the Holocaust through interactive galleries and personal stories. Exhibits here are free and open to the public.

The Division of Continuing Education presents dozens of life enrichment and enjoyable classes and programs and is home to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. The Institute offers an impressive selection of educational and social opportunities for adults age 50 and older. With a purpose to promote lifelong learning and continued intellectual and personal growth for retirement-age individuals, the Osher Lifelong Learning Center has become the place for fun, interactive learning in a safe and encouraging environment. “We are committed to offering ongoing learning opportunities and enrichment for everyone in our community—not just our students,” Olney affirms.

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(Committed to Caring continued from page 24)

“WellStar is constantly researching opportunities to enhance the healthcare services we provide in Cherokee County. We look forward to sharing exciting news about growth in Cherokee County in the near future,” he adds.

WellStar’s current scope of services within the county includes cardiovascular medicine, family and internal medicine, imaging, ob/gyn, pediatric and urgent care services. The most recent Cherokee addition to WellStar Health System is the former Bridgemill Family Medicine practice. On December 1, 2012, it became WellStar Medical Group, Family Medicine at Bridgemill. The principal physicians, Drs. Jeff Donahue and William Porter, say their office hours, location and office staff have remained the same, and their commitment to personalized care is ongoing. The physicians say they are excited to be able to continue to provide the same warm and personalized care their patients and their families have come to expect—now with the multitude of services available within WellStar.

WellStar is the fifth most integrated healthcare delivery system in the country. Receiving care from one of the largest integrated health systems in the country allows patients to receive a high level of seamless, coordinated treatment. WellStar Medical Group is comprised of more than 560 healthcare providers, including primary care and specialty physicians, five acute care hospitals (WellStar Kennestone, Douglas, Cobb, Paulding and Windy Hill Hospitals) containing an aggregate of 1,321 beds, six urgent care centers, a wellness center, an adult congregate living facility, a skilled care nursing facility, two inpatient hospice facilities and satellite diagnostic imaging centers. Strategic areas of excellence include cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, oncology, pulmonary, surgery, and women’s and newborn services. WellStar Kennestone Hospital in nearby Marietta serves many Cherokee residents, particularly those living in the south part of the county. Kennestone is the only designated Trauma Center in Northwest Georgia. As a Level II Trauma Center, WellStar Kennestone offers 24-hour, seven-day-a-week, in-house availability to an attending surgeon in the fields of neurosurgery, orthopaedics and oral maxillofacial surgery. Additionally, WellStar Kennestone and WellStar Cobb Hospitals have Level III neonatal intensive-care units, along with catheterization labs, pediatric emergency services, wound care and wellness programs. In 2011, WellStar emergency departments cared for more than 300,000 emergency room patients—more than any other health system in the state.

In addition to Cherokee County, the System’s primary service area includes parts of northwest metropolitan Atlanta including Bartow, Cobb, Douglas, and Paulding

32 www.CherokeeChamber.com

Counties, containing approximately 1,748 square miles and an estimated population in excess of 1.4 million people. WellStar is committed to helping patients get well and stay well by offering a wide array of community health education programs and preventative/early detection screenings. In 2011, more than 200,000 community members took part in health classes and events. With more than 12,000 employees, many who reside in Cherokee County, WellStar is one of the largest employers in the area and has received numerous awards for workplace excellence. Since 2008, WellStar has been named to the Companies that Care Honor Roll and was designated one of Atlanta’s Best and Brightest Places to Work in 2011. Employee benefits include: concierge service, backup childcare, family counseling services, discounted shopping and numerous employee education opportunities. Since 2008, WellStar has been a Working Mother Magazine Top 100 Best Company, the past two years ranking in the top ten. Last year, WellStar ranked 11th on the AARP Best Employer for Workers Over 50 list.

Page 35: Our Cherokee

In Cherokee County,it’s all about

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Visit us at CherokeeGA.org to learn more about• Demographics & Workforce Data• Existing Industry Incentives• Small Business Resources• Available Site & Building Listings

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34 www.CherokeeChamber.com

to making Cherokee County the best possible place to live, they are the next generation of community leaders. In 2012, the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce recognized 10 up-and-coming young professionals – rising stars that you will want to keep an eye on over the next 10 years.

Capable, Energetic& Devoted

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www.CherokeeChamber.com 35

Through Chamber participation, younger professionals – like these standouts – have

ongoing opportunities to interact with seasoned professionals that provide a mentor

type relationship. “The Cherokee County Chamber prides itself on being a relationship

driven organization. What better way for young professionals to develop their

management skills and leadership styles than by networking with the best of the best,”

says Pamela W. Carnes, Chamber President & CEO. “The Top 10 in 10 initiative was

created as a way of identifying, showcasing, and cultivating exceptional Cherokee County

young professionals. We expect this year’s honorees to make significant contributions to

their professions as well as to the community.”

Chris BishopAttorney, Law Firm of

Barry Bishop, PC

Erika NeldnerManaging Editor,


Neil BlackmanPrincipal

Corblu Ecology Group, LLC

Jason NelmsFounding Partner

Everlast Synthetic Products, LLC

Greta FollPresident

Golden Home Services

Billy PeppersSpecial Assistant

Office of Downtown DevelopmentCommunity Development & Finance

Ga Dept of Community Affairs

Mark GoddardManager-Commercial Marketing

Cobb EMC

Jeff RusbridgePartner

Dyer & Rusbridge, PC

Alison HigginsCommunity Relations Coordinator

Northside Hospital-Cherokee

Jeremy SwaffordCFO

Southeast Restoration Group

Chris Bishop could not resist coming back to the community where he grew up. Fresh out of law school, he was initially attracted by the lure of becoming a “big city lawyer.” “I considered working at a big firm in Atlanta,” he says, “but it just made sense to come back and work here.” Bishop notes how fast Cherokee County is growing and how that

growth is affecting the local court system. “Cherokee has grown so fast that I foresee another superior and state court judge for the county in the next 10 years.”

If an extra state court judge seat is added, Bishop feels like it would be a good opportunity to increase the impact

(continued on page 36)

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36 www.CherokeeChamber.com

(Top 10 continued from page 35)

he can have in his community. Bishop, 35 and his wife, live in the Sixes community. He has a finance degree from the University of Georgia and a law degree from John Marshall Law School.

Being recognized as one of his community’s rising leaders makes Neil Blackman of Woodstock’s Corblu Ecology Group, LLC, reflect a little on his life and background. “I was surprised when I heard about the recognition,” he says. “But I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I have been blessed to be surrounded my whole life by great leaders.” Blackman says

that this has shown him the way to lead in his community. “It seems natural to lead by example and try to get the best out of the people around you. This recognition challenges me to find the things that I do best and make sure I do them more often.”

Through his work coaching youth sports and serving on the Teen Leadership Cherokee steering committee, Blackman has had many opportunities to work with young people. Blackman, 36, lives in Holly Springs with his wife, Rachel, and children Jack and Jesse. He earned a degree from the University of Georgia in forest resources.

Greta Foll says she sometimes likes to “slide under the radar” when working in the community. However, staying under the radar may not be easy now that she has been recognized as an emerging county leader. Since moving to Canton a few years ago, she has started Golden Home Services, a home and personal care company. “I was in the corporate world

and wanted to do something where I could lay my head on my pillow at night and feel better about it,” she says.

Foll, who lived in Kennesaw before making Cherokee her home, says this community is a good place in which to be a leader. “My husband Curt and I moved to Canton from Kennesaw, and we love that it is a little more laidback.” She is a graduate of Indiana University.

Mark Goddard acknowledges there is some responsibility that comes with the Chamber’s recognition. “There is a responsibility to help lead the community in the right direction,” he concedes. “It is humbling and an honor to be part of this group.” Goddard is a native of Cherokee County and hopes to see future generations prosper. “It is the place I have chosen to raise my children, so I want it to continue to prosper,” he

says. Goddard, Manager of Commercial Marketing for Cobb EMC, formerly served as Chairman of the Cherokee County Chamber and finds great satisfaction in both his career and volunteer roles which focus on promoting existing businesses and recruiting new business to the county.

He believes that Cherokee County offers an ideal environment for business. “We have a great quality of life,” he affirms. Goddard lives in Canton with his wife, Jennifer, and children Billy and Caroline. He holds a marketing and professional sales degree from Kennesaw State University.

Cherokee County has made an investment in Alison Higgins, and she hopes she is paying it back with interest. “For my entire life, I have proudly called Cherokee County my home,” she says. “I was educated here from elementary school through college, and I have been blessed to be able to work here, attend church here and raise my family here.

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www.CherokeeChamber.com 37

This award helps prove that the investment this community has made in me is being returned to them.”

Having that kind of familiarity with her community serves her well in her volunteer professional duties. Higgins, who works as Community Relations Coordinator for Northside Hospital-Cherokee, lives in Hickory Flat with her husband, Chris, and son Jackson. She received an associate’s degree from Reinhardt University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia.

One of the county’s future leaders, Erika Neldner, will be keeping her eye on Cherokee’s decision makers. As editor of the Cherokee Ledger-News, Neldner is helping the community keep up with what is happening locally. “To me, it is about doing good things, doing the right thing and holding the spenders of taxpayer dollars accountable,” she notes. One of Neldner’s priorities

over the next few years is to “reach out to the children in our community to ensure that print journalism truly means something to them.” She and her staff give tours to children to show them how the newspaper is put together.

She grew up visiting grandparents in the Macedonia community and spent her summers here, so moving to Cherokee County was a perfect fit. Neldner lives in Canton with her husband, Michael, and son Jack. She graduated from Kennesaw State University with a degree in communications.

It should be easy to watch Jason Nelms over the next several years. He can be found on the first and third Tuesday each month at the county commission podium, representing Post 4. “I’m fortunate to be in a position of leadership. I have an opportunity to serve people and do good things. I am ready to bear that responsibility and do all I can to make this

county the best that it can be.” In 10 years, Nelms hopes to continue to be in a leadership position in the private sector as well. He started his company, Everlast Synthetic Products, a leading manufacturer of vinyl sheet piling for sea walls, retaining walls and lake walls, in 2005.

Nelms, 39, lives in Woodstock with his wife, Christa, and sons Tate and Cooper. He studied wildlife and forestry at Abraham Baldwin College prior to obtaining an undergraduate degree as well as an MBA from Kennesaw State University.

Billy Peppers, Special Assistant & Office of Downtown Development, Community Development & Finance, Georgia Department of Community Affairs (a non-profit group that promotes economic re-development of Georgia’s downtowns), appreciates being recognized as one of the people to keep an eye on in Cherokee County. However, he prefers to see the end result of his efforts receive the majority of the spotlight.

The former Director of Economic Development Services for the City of Woodstock feels that “in economic development, we stay in the background as much as possible,” he explains. “We want the projects to get the spotlight. The number one thing for us is to make the community look good.”

Peppers, who was a part of Woodstock’s vision, feels the community can grow even more. Improvements that will continue to build on Woodstock’s successes include bringing in more hotels and adding some conference space in the south end of the county. Peppers, 30, lives in Canton with his wife, Julie, and son Turner. He graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in political science.

(continued on page 38)

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38 www.CherokeeChamber.com

(Top 10 continued from page 37)

For Canton attorney Jeff Rusbridge, public service is important. He says service in the community is something he learned from his father, a Lion’s Club member. “I grew up being taught to serve the community,” he says. “I’ve always felt like it was my obligation. I can’t see myself not heavily involved in community and civic organizations,” he says. Rusbridge, a partner at

Dyer and Rusbridge P.C., lives in Canton with his wife, Ashley, and sons Luke and Will. He earned a political science degree from Furman University and a law degree from the University of Georgia.

Jeremy Swafford acknowledges that he, too, is grateful to be recognized as one Cherokee County’s rising leaders. “I wouldn’t have thought of myself in that category,” he says. Swafford, chief financial officer for Southeast Restoration Group, has lived in the county for approximately 10 years. “I absolutely love Cherokee County,” he says. “There is a vast array of things to do and see. The geography is breathtaking. You go to

any corner of the county and see a mountain or a lake. That is hard to find in many other counties.”

Swafford sees his professional leadership role increasing as Southeast Restoration Group, a general contracting company that provides structural repairs and emergency services in Cherokee County and north Georgia, grows. Swafford, 31, lives in the Buffington community with his wife, Carrie and daughters Caroline, Catherine and Callianne. He received his undergraduate degree from Berry College and MBA from Kennesaw State University.

Some of these Top 10 are Cherokee County

natives and some have adopted the county as

home. And though they come from diverse fields

such as business and economic development, law and community service, they all have one common priority:

making the county strong and viable

economically without sacrificing quality of life.

“In 2013 we look forward to utilizing the strengths of the Top 10 in 10 recipients as we cultivate additional opportunities for up-and-coming leaders in the range of 25 to 40 years of age,” Carnes says. For information on nominations for the 2013 group of top young professionals, visit www.CherokeeChamber.com

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(Filling the Gap continued from page 15)

education classes for Certified Nursing Assistants and Phlebotomists and the newest addition, a bridge program for licensed practical nurses to earn the credentials to become registered nurses beginning in January of 2014. The option of taking some required courses online gives students the flexibility to graduate on a timely basis.

Students at Chattahoochee Tech can chose from more than 60 different programs of specialized study, many of which provide them with the skills they need to start work immediately, particularly in the healthcare and technical fields. Most of the students here are in their 20s or 30s, but the school also attracts older students who find they need to be retrained for the current job market. “We have smaller classes and offer these students a great environment in which to learn the computer skills that they are frequently lacking,” explains Jennifer Nelson, vice president for External Affairs at CTC.

“Chattahoochee Technical College is a college of choice for many within the community with our ease of access, relevant programs and opportunities for career growth or the pursuit of higher education. We will continue to strive in our quest to be the solution for Georgians seeking to enhance their skills, begin a new career path or find an affordable and efficient way to pursue higher education,” adds Newcomb.

The mission of Chattahoochee Technical College’s Community and Economic Development division is workforce and economic development that enables local citizens to develop necessary skills to further their career goals. Through business and industry support programs, the division aids in the creation and retention of jobs by supporting existing companies, entrepreneurs, and new companies coming to the area. “The corporate training staff at Chattahoochee Technical College works with area businesses to ensure we meet specific training and organizational performance needs through high quality programs and superior customer service. In addition to certificates, diplomas, and degrees, we offer non-credit courses which provide short-term, focused training for personal and professional improvement,” explains Nelson.

Around 2,100 of current Chattahoochee Technical College students are living in Cherokee County. That averages out to approximately 17.6 percent of the college’s enrollment. The Woodstock campus averages between 400 and 500 students each semester taking at least one class at that facility. The Canton campus has more than doubled its initial enrollment with close to 900 students currently taking credit classes there. The college is planning for continued growth in Cherokee for 2013.

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40 www.CherokeeChamber.com

It’s no surprise that shopping is on the short list of favorite things to do while on a getaway. Retail therapy is an especially attractive pastime when the

destination is an easily accessible upscale outlet mall that offers shoppers huge discounts and selections—like The Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta that will debut in Woodstock in mid-summer 2013. The hometown of Atlanta’s newest

and closest premier outlet mall is sure to get a financial boost as an excursion destination for some of Atlanta’s 35 million tourists each year. Also convenient to travelers on Interstates 575, 75, 85 and 20, the outlet mall is expected to draw more than 4 million visitors annually from a three-state area.

(continued on page 60)

Convenient to travelers on Interstates 575, 75, 85 and 20, the outlet mall is expected to draw more than

4 million visitors annually from a three-state area


retailbonanz a

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BALL GROUNDLocated near fields where the Cherokee Indians used to play stick ball, lo-cal legend indicates that Ball Ground derives its name from this game. When settlers entered the area, the streams and fields attracted farmers, who created numerous man-made ponds and lakes. Most ponds and lakes remain today, and Ball Ground still has a predominantly agricul-tural based economy. Af-

ter railroad officials established a train depot in 1882, the town quickly became one of the best business points on the rail line. Today, Ball Ground is growing as businesses and homeowners are pushing into the North Georgia mountains along the I-575 corridor. It boasts 1,400 residents, a num-ber of new subdivisions and light industry, and recently installed a sanitary sewage system to accommodate de-velopment. The northernmost town to sit completely within county lines is situated 11 miles northeast of Canton, and offers several annual festivals along with attractive views of the lower Appalachian foothills.

CANTONFrom Canton’s earliest days, the town has been known for its entrepre-neurial spirit. Early on the small town, then known as Etowah, was envisioned to become the epicenter of silk produc-tion in the West. Town

officials changed the name to Canton to reflect the world-renowned producer of silk in China. Eventually, Canton became known for its denim. Though the last of the mills have long since closed, Canton continues to grow and now boasts a population just under 23,000. To ensure long-term protection of the community’s growing water

supply needs, the city initiated the Hickory Log Creek dam project, providing 44 million gallons of water per day and miles of public parks. In addition, residents also en-joy Heritage Park, 28 acres of green space, pedestrian and bike trails, and a natural amphitheater for productions and concerts.

HOLLY SPRINGSEven at the cozy size of just five and a half square miles, the City of Holly Springs offers great amenities for residents and businesses. Close to Atlanta, the town mixes a thriving commercial district with early-twentieth century homes and offers a number of sites prepared for future development. Local legend tells that the name Holly Springs derived from Native Americans who lived near a spring surrounded by holly trees. Incorporated in 1906, the town quickly began building up around a busy train depot established by the L&N Railroad (now the Georgia Northeastern Railway). That depot, now the Holly Springs Community Center, was painstakingly restored by the City in the late 1990’s and is a source of immense civic pride for over 9,000 local residents.

NELSONVisitors to the monu-ments in our nation’s capitol may not realize that most of the marble comes from Nelson, Georgia. Thanks to the L&N Railroad (now the Georgia North-eastern Railway) that winds through the

surrounding valleys and mountains into Nelson, the city became, and continues to be, a major player in the world’s marble industry, serving as the headquarters for the Geor-gia Marble Company’s structural division. The area is home

ABOUT US Communities inCherokee County

42 www.CherokeeChamber.com

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to one of the largest marble veins in the world, traversing four miles across the land at half-mile depths and widths in places. Named for early landowner John Nelson and in-corporated in 1843, the city is one of the highest elevation points in the county, sitting at 1,245 feet above sea level. With a population of 680, this picturesque town offers resi-dents and visitors incredibly scenic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and southern Appalachia.

WOODSTOCKA slogan on display in the Woodstock Visitors Center at Dean’s Store de-scribes the town this way: Where yester-day lives and tomor-row waits. One of the nation’s fastest growing suburbs, Woodstock offers a unique blend of tra-ditional small-town living with modern amenities. In the

heart of the town, the historic commercial district, visitors and residents stroll the brick paved sidewalks linking an-tique shops and tearooms. Buildings in the Downtown District date back to 1879. One of the first areas of the county to be settled due to its more accessible terrain, the town began to flourish with new industry seeking the plentiful water of Little River and other local streams. With a population of over 23,000, this Cherokee County community respects historic charm while creating new neighborhoods.

WALESKAA quaint town with a proud history, Wales-ka was named after an Indian princess in the mid-1800’s. Lewis Reinhardt and his wife, successful farmers in this area,

honored the Cherokee chief ’s daughter Warluskee in this way due to their sympathy for the plight of Native Ameri-cans forced to move west. Today, the small, close-knit city is also home to Reinhardt University, named for its founder A. M. Reinhardt, a former Confederate captain who want-ed a local institution to expand education opportunities. Since its founding, the college has anchored the town’s economy and cultural influence, most notably through the Funk Heritage Center which focuses on the art and history of Southeastern Indians and European settlers. Residents of the gated golf community enjoy Lake Arrowhead, the South’s largest man-made lake, which covers more than 540 acres with depths up to 80 feet. Since its incorporation in 1889, Waleska has grown steadily with a population of over 644 residents.

Communities inCherokee County

Blankets Creek

www.CherokeeChamber.com 43

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while saving the earth. The Workforce Development Council (WFDC), however, hones in on workforce needs while overseeing the middle school career fairs, annual Business Expo as well as the online job leads. The WFDC is also responsible for ResuMay Day, a free event open to the public where volunteers are on-site to both review and assist in the development of resumes. Regional Issues Awareness focuses on topics relating to local and regional transportation, environmental, water quality/quantity and land use issues that affect Cherokee County’s businesses and residents. It’s important to remind ourselves that what is happening regionally can impact Cherokee County.

Education is a key component to structuring a quality community so from Partners in Education, Teacher of the Year and Retiring Educator recognition to the State’s Work Ready efforts and both adult and teen Leadership Cherokee programs, the Chamber addresses education from Pre-K through adulthood. Regularly scheduled workshops are held on topics suggested by business for business such as social media, marketing, accounting, networking and human resources.

Local business and industry support efforts such as Drugs Don’t Work, a drug-free workplace initiative that can ultimately save a company 7.5% on their Workers Compensation Insurance. The Chamber on the other

(Creating Prosperity continued from page 5)

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www.CherokeeChamber.com 45

hand, working in partnership with the Cherokee Office of Economic Development (COED), supports local business and industry initiatives such as Operation Thank You which annually expresses appreciation to local manufacturing/distribution companies. Connecting industry with education is also a focus as diverse employment opportunities for Cherokee’s educated workforce are vital in growing a quality community.

The Chamber, in unison with COED, encourages entrepreneurs to utilize a Business Start-Up Kit designed to walk someone from start to finish through the process of opening a business in Cherokee County. A Chamber member entrepreneur is recognized quarterly for their

successes while one of the winners is honored as the Entrepreneur of the Year.

Other annual Chamber recognitions include the organizations top ambassador, ten up and coming young professionals between the ages of 25 - 40 who are expected to be among the county’s rising stars over the next ten years as well as a member company who exemplifies customer service excellence.

Tourism, known to many as economic development at its best, allows the Chamber to promote Cherokee County as a destination. Local points of interest and special events are promoted via CherokeeChamber.com.

Networking events vary in size from a dozen business associates at a 12@12 Luncheon to 250+ community leaders at a Good Morning Cherokee breakfast. Business After Hours, new member orientations, the Chamber Classic Golf Tournament, Knockdown Bowling Tournament, and Picnic in the Park member appreciation outing provide additional ways in which you can interact with fellow members.

Business promotion occurs through celebrations such as Ribbon Cuttings and Ground Breakings which are designed for start-up as well as expanding businesses where Chamber Shirt Friday is enjoyed by new and seasoned businesses alike. It’s simple. In order to promote their company, a different Chamber member business provides their promotional shirts for the Chamber staff to wear on a designated Friday. From information on the weekly Chamber email to photos and videos on Facebook and YouTube, the Chamber creatively promotes each week’s featured business.

Of the utmost importance is keeping local dollars local, so closing with the effort vs leading off the article just made good business sense as shopping locally should be top of mind! The annual Jingle Bell $hop retail shopping extravaganza, held each November, is a great way to kick-off the holiday shopping season while supporting local merchants who enable our community to remain a vibrant locale to the over 218,000 residents who join us in calling Cherokee County home.

Chamber initiatives focus on a variety of aspects yet follow a common thread of meeting the Chamber’s mission to promote business and the community, while expanding the economy and enhancing the quality of life.

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(Swimming continued from page 9)

use the facility as their home. We have the capacity and capability to hold national caliber meets here, and any time you have an event like that in the county, it contributes to the economic growth,” Reynolds explains.

In addition to the national caliber competition pool, the center includes an indoor 25-yard recreational pool with warmer water for therapy, exercise and instruction; two indoor poolside classrooms/party rooms; a spacious lobby and seating areas with pool overlook. The large outdoor leisure pool, slated to open in May when the weather warms up, was designed for family fun and will include water-park features such as an aquatic play structure, water cannons, a zero-depth entry area with geysers and deck sprays, a current channel and basketball hoops. Residents can plan a pool party at one of the special outdoor pavilions during the summer or inside in the party room during the coldest part of winter. A concession stand, ample locker rooms and family restrooms will be convenient to both the indoor and outdoor facilities.

The staff at the Recreation and Parks Agency decided to involve the community in the naming of the outdoor

leisure pool. Prior to the grand opening, CRPA will conduct a contest for local children to name the pool and create a mascot. According to Reynolds, they are looking for something fun. “We want something that will inspire the kids’ imagination and make them want to come back time after time to enjoy everything the facility has to offer. We are working with the Cherokee County school district to organize the contest.”

In addition to the opening of the aquatic center, the CPRA has several other projects slated for 2013 that offer enhanced opportunities for recreation and create an economic impact for the county. The Blankets Creek Mountain Bike Trail System, a regional mountain biking destination, is getting additional parking and new amenities. “Blankets Creek is one of the most heavily ridden mountain biking trails in the country, and the popularity continues to grow,” Reynolds says. Several other park improvement projects and additional parks are also slated for 2013. “Our goal is to continue to bring quality services to Cherokee that will enhance the quality of life for all of our residents.”

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48 www.CherokeeChamber.com

(Reinhardt University continued from page 16)

Several new construction projects were completed in 2012: the Ken White Music Center, the Hubbard Residence Hall and the Athletic Field House. Before the construction dust could settle, Reinhardt announced plans to begin construction on two additional residence halls that will be part of the new Hubbard Hall complex. These two halls will add bed space for 92 more students and bring on-campus housing capacity to 692 students. These are premier housing rooms designed like Hubbard Hall and should be available for student occupancy in August 2013. Other ongoing construction projects on campus include a new $4.5 million premier science center scheduled to be ready by fall of 2013 to accommodate the increasing demand for biology and pre-professional concentrations in the growing areas of healthcare. Dobbs, one of the oldest buildings on campus, is being renovated in preparation for the increased demand as well.

Plans are also underway to design a building to showcase Reinhardt’s popular theatre program. It would be located on Lake Mullenix and contain a black box theater that would hold approximately 120 guests as well as instructional and

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workshop space. In the Fall of 2012, a musical theatre program of study was added to Reinhardt’s growing music program, now the largest at any private institution in Georgia—thanks to some energetic recruiting, an influx of talented students and staff, and a reputation for excellence.

Reinhardt’s talented musicians will have another new performance opportunity in the Fall of 2012. The debut of the University’s marching band will coincide with the launch of intercollegiate football. Coaches have been hired and more than 130 players are currently practicing on campus in anticipation of their inaugural season with the Mid-South Conference. “With 17 sports programs here, about 25 percent of our students participate in an intercollegiate sport. We are looking forward to the excitement that football will bring to our students and alumni and to the positive impact this will have on the community,” says Marsha White, Reinhardt’s executive director of Marketing and Communications.

Reinhardt’s Performing Arts Center, an intimate 350 seat venue, continues to be a big draw for the community as well as an asset to augment and showcase the University’s vibrant music program. “The Falany Performing Arts Center is popular for our affordable prices, our convenient location and our beautiful venue. We provide a variety of top quality entertainment—from opera and jazz to musical theatre and classical ensembles, and much more—at very reasonable prices,” notes Jessica C. Akers, operations coordinator of the Falany Performing Arts Center.

Our alumni, many of whom still live in Cherokee County and the surrounding area, value the impact their Reinhardt

days made on their lives “Reinhardt is grateful for all the support we enjoy from citizens of this great county,” says JoEllen Wilson, Reinhardt Alumnus and vice president for Advancement. “I loved our friendly atmosphere as a Reinhardt student years ago, and it’s wonderful that this family feeling still permeates in all we do,” adds Wilson. “Our alumni, many of whom still live in Cherokee County and the surrounding area, value the impact their Reinhardt days made on their lives. Area businesses support our annual fund-raising drive, A DAY, which helps local students attend Reinhardt. Community members play in our golf tournaments or attend our athletic, educational and cultural events. Still others, like our Trustees, Alumni Board members, Ministerial Association Board, Ambassadors and Funk Center Advisory Board, help us with their special skills and expertise, and we are thankful for this.”

Reinhardt University at a Glance

Enrollment Fall 2012: 1,253 (up from 1,154 in 2011)Faculty to Student Ratio: 1 to 14Average Class Size: 17 studentsDegree Programs Offered: 40+, primarily liberal artsCampus Updates: 19 new or renovated buildings in recent yearsAthletics: 17 sports programs

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(Bright Future continued from page 23)

existing industry as well as attracting new businesses to our county,” says Jerry W. Cooper, county manager. “The future of job growth in Cherokee County places us among the most successful economies in the region.” One of the challenges Cherokee faces is the perception that it is merely a bedroom community, and in fact, more than 78 percent of Cherokee’s workforce commutes out of the county each day to work. “The Cherokee Office of Economic Development, in partnership with Cherokee County and Cherokee’s cities, are working to turn that around by creating job opportunities for residents that match their skills, education and expertise,” Martin, who has been at the helm of the Economic Development office in the challenging years since 2004, says.

In 2012 Cherokee experienced the highest prospect activity in five years. Of the 61 prospects in 2012, 63 percent were interested in properties located within the boundaries of one of the county’s Opportunity Zones (OZ). Current OZ designations exist in southwest Cherokee County as well as locations within the City of Canton, Airport Area, and the City of Ball Ground. Companies located within the Opportunity Zone can take advantage of state job tax credits.

Another challenge that the county faces is a limited building inventory. “The existing inventory is dwindling, therefore more buildings will need to be developed and potential sites identified,” notes Marshall Day, chairman of the Development Authority of Cherokee County. “We are actively engaging office/industrial developers to consider building speculative space for prospective businesses and marketing existing building and site inventory to statewide project managers, developers, site selectors, and economic development professionals.”

Development is currently underway for a 100-acre business park in southwest Cherokee two miles from Interstate 75 (Cherokee 75 Corporate Park). “We have secured an Opportunity Zone designation along with Georgia Ready for Accelerated Development (GRAD) certification for Cherokee 75 to spur additional interest and increase marketability,” Martin adds. Phase I infrastructure ($754,000 invested) is slated to be in place in early 2013. The park is zoned for light industrial with a small retail portion on the front of property.

Other new development in the county includes: • Medical – $250 million Northside Hospital-Cherokee

expansion construction is underway in Canton and $100 million Northside Hospital-Cherokee Medical Office Building is currently being developed in Woodstock.

Projections for future economic development in Cherokee are great. The Atlanta Regional

Commission predicts that Cherokee will lead the region with 166 percent in job growth over the next

30 years, adding 72,500 additional jobs by 2040.

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• Light industrial – A $4 million, 62,000 square footheadquarters operation in The Bluffs.

• Retail–TheOutletShoppesatAtlantawillbeopeningin the summer of 2013. This 400,000 square foot outlet mall is a $70 million investment that is predicted to bring 700 construction jobs, 1,200 permanent jobs, 1,600 seasonal jobs and be a regional tourism destination.

In addition to the outlet mall and the afore mentioned Blankets Creek Mountain Bike Trails, the county enjoys an influx of tourists at the highly esteemed Gibbs Gardens, a new 300-acre destination in the rural northeast part of Cherokee County. Enhancements to the county’s art venues and palette of offerings at the Elm Street Cultural Arts Village, Cherokee Arts Center and the Falany Performing Arts Center are also attracting regional visitors. Revitalization projects in the county’s historic downtowns are boosting the tourism here as well. Funk Heritage Center, which houses an amazing collection of local artifacts and exhibits, continues to draw students and history buffs from across the region.

The film industry that is emerging as a financial influence across the state has come to Cherokee as well. In 2011, the county became a certified “Camera Ready” designated community through the State’s Economic Development

Office. Movies filmed here include a Disney movie starring Jennifer Garner, The Odd Life of Timothy Green (2012), and Killers (2010), a popular romantic comedy starring Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl.

Projections for future economic development in Cherokee are great. The Atlanta Regional Commission predicts that Cherokee will lead the region with 166 percent in job growth over the next 30 years, adding 72,500 additional jobs by 2040. Martin says the key to Cherokee’s continued economic growth is to help create jobs that match our workforce.

“To do so, we will need continued planning and investment in infrastructure, additional sites and buildings to market to prospective businesses, continued excellence in education

and a focus on entrepreneurship as we become a workplace center for the region.”

“What stands out are Cherokee County’s “Unique Selling Points” or USP’s. The ones mentioned combined with the highest standards of public safety, low taxes, natural resources, including two reservoirs make Cherokee a highly desirable county for business, industry and living,” concurs Buzz Ahrens, Chairman of Cherokee County Board of Commissioners.

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(Delphi continued from page 27)

is imminent and they are in over their heads. Delphi Global Technology of Canton offers these businesses a tailored solution that is affordable, efficient and effortless. “Our flexible model and simple pricing structure make it easy for our clients to create a version of support that works for them. Partnering with Delphi allows them to leverage the experience of a company seasoned in everything from the one-person startup to the several hundred user corporation. And our model offers substantial savings over employing in-house IT support staff,” says owner John Barker. “We provide our clients with full time IT support for a low, fixed monthly cost.”

Barker notes that one of the differences between Delphi and other tech support companies is that his company takes a proactive rather than reactive approach to IT support. “We manage and monitor our clients IT infrastructure so that

we can avoid problems rather than be constantly solving new ones. If you wait until after there’s a problem to call for service, your options are limited and usually more costly.” Barker notes that with Delphi, customer service is personal. “We are approachable and accessible. Our mission is to mitigate problems. Our clients know that they can reach out and call us whenever they want, and we will accommodate them and get them back to work in a non-threatening way.”

Cost is another factor that distinguishes Delphi Global Technology from their competition, according to Barker. “You pay a fixed cost along the way based on how many people or work stations you have, and regular maintenance and monitoring will help you avoid costly problems. But if you do have a problem, we solve it and it falls under the umbrella of your monthly fee.” Barker adds that unlike some tech personnel, he and his technicians are highly trained and certified. “We have the knowledge and skill set to create and maintain an IT infrastructure that will be problem-free. We tell our customers that we’ll manage their technology so they can focus on managing their companies.”

Barker says since he started his business in Cherokee County in 2008, it’s been very gratifying helping other businesses in the community grow and succeed. He has been extremely involved with the Cherokee County Chamber on Delphi’s behalf over the last two years, attending ribbon cuttings, new member events, receiving both Entrepreneur of the Month and Volunteer of the Quarter honors and enjoying many other activities. He was named the Entrepreneur of the Year for 2011. “I’ve been the poster child for involvement with the Chamber—serving on the Chairman’s Council, and Chairing the Going Green committee in both 2012 and 2013.”

“What an honor it was for me to make the actual presentation announcing John Barker as the Chamber’s 2011 Entrepreneur of the Year,” Pamela W. Carnes, Chamber President & CEO says. “In doing so I found that his words said it best:

We’re a better business than when we started, and I am a better business owner. We offer a better product

at a better price, and our overhead is more in line with where it needs to be. We continue to build our business

with others that are Cherokee based in order to keep the tax dollars local. I do more than survive...I adapt.

“What a testimonial as John knows that working hard has its rewards. He just didn’t know that an Entrepreneur of the Year designation would be a part of his winnings,” Carnes notes.

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...it takes a village

the creation of the

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What began as a campaign to save and restore the historic Reeves house as a visual arts center in

downtown Woodstock has become a model for collaboration among non-profits, government and local businesses. The project took off when co-founders Shawn McLeod and Ann Litrel attracted founding artistic director Gay Grooms whose passion and theatre director experience in Towne Lake fueled the creative alchemy and helped flesh out the vision. The campaign grew, and the Reeves house became the anchor for a much larger project, the Elm Street Cultural Arts Village, a full spectrum arts center on four acres of green space in the heart of Woodstock that will include visual arts, the performing arts, historical and cultural programming.

“In 2009 and 2010, Shawn, Gay and I made presentations along with other theater board members to over 20 community groups for a period of 18 months, garnering feedback and community support,” chronicles Litrel, a favorite local artist and gallery owner on Main Street in Woodstock. “The City Planning Department helped identify the ideal site along the Greenprints Bike and Pedestrian Trail. We presented a comprehensive proposal and plan to the City and the County, highlighting the potential economic stimulus value of the arts center to the area. This persuaded the City and County to work together with us to fund and complete the purchase of the four acre site in 2010. Since then, Shawn has become board president, and I serve as fundraising chair on the board. We work with the rest of a very dedicated board of directors on site development, future programming and funding plans,” Litrel sums up.

The project has become a favorite cause for art lovers and non-profit groups and for local businesses who appreciate the economic impact of the project. “Elm Street is a dream that has taken root in the entire community—for volunteers, businesses, gardeners, artists,

(continued on page 56)

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(It Takes a Village continued from page 55)

performers. It’s become a story that we are all writing together,” Litrel affirms. “It’s the kind of place that brings out the creative juices in all kinds of folks, and engages people in the arts who didn’t even know they cared!”

Grooms, who has been teaching, writing, directing and performing in the Atlanta area since 1990, notes that all kinds of groups have pitched in their support for the project. “People have been so willing to help out. We are so fortunate. Just last month we had a group of ROTC cadets cleaning up the grounds at the Reese house. The door opens both ways. We offer quality arts programming to our local schools and free performances periodically as a thank you to our community and civic leaders. “We recently hosted The Atlanta Opera for the first time, and they in turn performed for first and second graders at Woodstock Elementary School. We are collaborating with everybody. We just formalized our partnership with the Cherokee County School District.”

In 2011 Elm Street drew 15,000 visits to downtown Woodstock for performances and classes, and brought free Gay Grooms

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performances to more than 7,000 public school children. “The vision for Elm Street is to engage the community with fresh arts experiences every day,” Litrel says. “Elm Street has become a community grassroots effort, with many artistic and visionary residents stepping in to fulfill the Elm Street vision.” By early 2013 the event green should be completed, which will allow Elm Street to begin expanding programming downtown, including open air artist markets and performance events, according to Litrel. “The Reeves house will be under renovation as the Elm Street visual arts center. In addition, the natural woodland restoration and pathways are also slated to be developed.”

The theatre, Elm Street, (formerly Towne Lake Arts Center) will continue to bring professional quality live theatre to Cherokee County residents and students.

“Through open auditions, classes and camps and a full season of productions, we provide many opportunities to participate on stage or attend something new every month of the year,” says Grooms, executive and artistic director. Elm Street offers productions in Children’s Theater and Evening Theater as well as Drama Classes and Camps, Teen Arts Nights and a variety of other arts-oriented programs at the spacious facility that was formerly a community church.

“From the beginning, Elm Street has not been designed as not only a cultural asset, but also as a significant economic engine for the community,” notes Litrel. Community leaders and developers are realizing that a well run arts organization can play a significant role in increasing local tourism and spending thus reviving the economics of an area. Elm Street is a win-win for Woodstock.

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WOODSTOCK SUMMER CONCERT SERIESA variety of musical entertainment is hosted by the City of Woodstock for free concerts May through September. Woodstock City Park. 770.517.6788 · www.woodstockconcertseries.com

CITY OF CANTON 4TH OF JULY CELEBRATIONPatriotism and fireworks at its finest: Parade and entertainment in downtown Canton, fireworks display at RiverStone Shopping Plaza. 770.704.1500 · www.cantonhdl.com

FREEDOM FESTCity of Woodstock’s annual can’t miss 4th of July event. Early morning ‘Woodstock Freedom Run’ 5k road race. Parade through downtown Woodstock followed by booths, food, fun and games for children in Woodstock City Park. After-dark fireworks display at I-575 & Hwy. 92. 770.517.6788 · www.whatsupwoodstock.com

JULY 4TH INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATIONFun-filled activities for the entire family. Cline Park, Waleska. 770.479.2912 · www.CityofWaleska.com

CHEROKEE COUNTY FAIRFamily fun at the fair, featuring livestock, shows, carnival rides, games and more. The second full week in September. Fair Grounds in Canton. 770.479.4613 · www.Canton-Georgia.com

BROWN BAG CONCERT SERIESYour lunch hour has never been more entertaining – free concerts at Woodstock City Park, noon - 1 p.m., every Thursday in September. 770.517.6788 · www.whatsupwoodstock.com




BALL GROUND HERITAGE DAYSA celebration of the good ‘ol days with arts, crafts, music, food and more. Third weekend in May. 770.735.2123 · www.CityofBallGround.com

CHEROKEE INDIAN FESTIVAL AND POW WOWExperience Native American entertainment, arts and crafts, music and food. Mother’s Day weekend at Boling Park in Canton. 770.735.6275 · www.Canton-Georgia.com

CANTON FESTIVAL OF THE ARTSArtists, music, food, a youth art exhibit, and a hands-on area for children in downtown Canton. Third weekend in May. Presented by the Cherokee County Arts Council. 770.704.6244 · www.CherokeeArts.org

5K & FUN RUNThe 5K starts at Holly Springs Elementary School and concludes at Barrett Memorial Park. Fourth Saturday in May, 8 a.m. 770.345.5536 · www.HollySpringsGa.net

EASTER EGG HUNTEvent includes complimentary pictures with the Easter Bunny, petting zoo, karate demonstrations and playground fun. Each child receives a prize egg. This is a free event at Barrett Memorial Park. Check website for date and time. 770-345-5536 · www.HollySpringsGa.net

FRIDAY NIGHT LIVEOne Friday a month (March – December) in Downtown Woodstock, come enjoy the many restaurants and stores that the area has to offer as the Downtown Merchants stay open late, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., and celebrate with a themed downtown wide festival. Check website for dates. www.whatsupwoodstock.com

FIRST FRIDAYSFirst Friday of each month Historic Downtown Canton Loop Block Party, Car Show, Live Music, Food and Good Times! Downtown Canton. 6 p.m. 770-704-1500 · www.cantonhdl.com

CANTON FARMERS MARKETHeld May-September, every Saturday from 8 a.m. to Noon in Downtown Canton. Rain or Shine. Locally grown produce, plants, homemade foods, crafts, music and more. 770.704.1500 www.cantonhdl.com

WOODSTOCK FARMERS MARKETEvery Saturday May-October come out to Olde Town Woodstock from 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and shop at the local farmers market. Located in downtown Woodstock. www.whatsupwoodstock.com



Note: There are a variety of events held throughout the county to commemorate Memorial Day, Patriots Day & Veterans Day. Contact the Chamber of Commerce or a local City Hall for event details.

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RIVERFESTArts and crafts festival, antiques, music, entertainment and concessions. Last weekend in September. Presented by the Service League of Cherokee County. Boiling Park, Canton. 770.704.5991 · www.RiverFest.org

AUTUMN FESTCelebration filled with fun and excitement for the entire family features children’s games, excellent food, community organization booths, arts and crafts, petting zoo, live music and much more! First Saturday in October, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Barrett Memorial Park. Holly Springs. 770.345.5536 · www.HollySpringsGa.net

TASTE OF CANTONTry the menu items from local restaurants. Bring an emp-ty stomach. Second Thursday in October, 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. Central Park in Downtown Canton. 770.704.1500 · www.cantonhdl.com

HALLOWEEN KIDSFESTJust treats, no tricks for costumed kiddies. Moonwalks, apple bobbing, face painting, candy give-away and more. Last Saturday in October. Woodstock City Park. 770.517.6788 · www.whatsupwoodstock.com

THE GREAT PUMPKIN FESTIVALTrick or Treating with the merchants, music, bounce house, games, vendors and hayrides. Saturday before Halloween. Downtown Canton. 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. 770-704-1500 · www.cantonhdl.com

HOLIDAY JUBILEE AND CITY BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION‘Tis the season to experience a parade, carolers, Santa, tree lighting and presentation of Citizen of the Year Award. First Saturday in December, 5:30 p.m. Woodstock City Park. 770.517.6788 · www.whatsupwoodstock.com

CHRISTMAS PARADECome celebrate the holiday season with your neighbors in Holly Springs. First Saturday in December, 1:30 p.m. 770.345.5536 · www.HollySpringsGa.net

CHRISTMAS PARADESanta and more march in a parade through downtown Canton. First Saturday in December. 770.704.1500 · www.cantonhdl.com

CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTINGOfficial kick-off to the holiday season in Waleska. First Thursday in December. 770.479.2912 · www.CityofWaleska.com

LOVE LIGHTS A TREEThe Annual Christmas Tree Lighting sponsored by the American Cancer Society. Friday after Thanksgiving. Downtown Canton. 770.704.1500 · www.cantonhdl.com

HERE COMES SANTA CLAUSSanta’s Annual Visit to Ball Ground. First Friday in December, 6 p.m. Downtown Gazebo. 770.735.2123 · www.CityofBallGround.com



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Advertising Dynamics

Bank of North Georgia

Cameron Hall Senior Living Communities

Cherokee Bank

Cherokee County Government

Cherokee CountyWater & Sewerage Authority

Cherokee FOCUS

Cherokee Office of Economic Development

City of Ball Ground

City of Canton

City of Holly Springs

Cobb EMC

Community & Southern Bank

Kennesaw State UniversityCollege of Continuing and Professional Education

Kim Bates Photographic Art

LGE Community Credit Union

Northside Hospital - Cherokee

Reinhardt University

Renasant Bank

United Community Bank

WellStar Health System

WLJA 101.1 FM

Woodstock DDA/CVB

INdEx OF AdvERTIsERs(Retail Bonanza continued from page 40)

“The opportunities The Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta brings to Cherokee County are numerous,” affirms Pamela W. Carnes, President & CEO, Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce. “From an economic development standpoint, the increase in jobs and sales tax dollars are definite benefits. From the tourism perspective, this development will help make us a primary destination for travelers.” County leaders are hoping that shopping won’t be the only item on travelers’ itineraries.

“From history to recreation to the arts, Cherokee County offers a full spectrum of

amenities. When people find out all there is to see and do in Cherokee County, we think they’ll be pleasantly surprised,” Carnes adds.

The Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta, a 370,000 square-foot outlet center located off 1-575 at the new Ridgewalk Parkway exit, will feature more than 80 retail outlet stores including: Nike, Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH, Brooks Brothers, White House | Black Market, Guess, Michael Kors, Under Armour, Puma, Converse, Cole Haan, Vans, Le Creuset, Levis, Naartjie Kids, Talbots and Carters. Designed in a shopper-friendly configuration, the center will feature covered walkways and landscaped courtyards to maximize the comfort and convenience of shoppers. Its design includes a children’s play area and a center court complete with fountains and fireplace to create a festive atmosphere for shoppers and other visitors to the center.

For local residents, the new outlet mall will provide fantastic shopping options closer to home. Currently, to get great deals on favorite brands area shoppers have to drive an hour or more to Dawsonville, Calhoun, Commerce or Locust Grove. But as Carnes notes, convenient shopping is just one of the benefits the mall will bring. Mayor Donnie Henriques of Woodstock is predicting the outlet mall will bring in more than 2,000 jobs.

And that’s not all. When completed, the center is projected to generate more than $130 million in annual sales and $3 million of sales and property taxes for the City of Woodstock. Over the next 10 years, the development and operation of the center are expected to generate a total of $34 million in taxes for the benefit of the City of Woodstock and Cherokee County. The Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta is a joint venture of CBL & Associates Properties Inc. and Horizon Group Properties Inc. Horizon and CBL are co-developers of the project; Horizon is responsible for leasing and managing the center.

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Discover Holly Springs Where the traditions of the past

meet the innovations of the future

City of Holly Springs * 3237 Holly Springs Parkway * (770) 345-5536


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Blend spectacular scenery and colorful history with a modern infrastructure and vibrant communities...then stir in a wealth of recreational opportunities. You’re in Cherokee County - one of Georgia’s fastest growing communities! Though business in Cherokee County moves at the metro pace, our hospitality is traditionally Southern. Take the time to come visit, enjoy and stay!

Cher o keeCountywww.cherokeega.com

welcome to

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ELECTRICITYAmicalola EMC ...........................706-253-5200Cobb EMC ..................................770-429-2100Georgia Power ..............................888-660-5890Sawnee EMC ...............................770-887-2363

NATURAL GASAtlanta Gas Light ........................800-427-5463True Natural Gas ......................... 877-746-4362Gas South .....................................877-322-5442

PROPANE GASPlease contact the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce at 770-345-0400 for a list of member propane companies.

WATERPlease contact your local city hall or the Cherokee County Water Authority at 770-479-1813.

SANITATIONPlease contact the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce at 770-345-0400 for a list of members providing residential and/or commercial sanitation services.

CABLEETC Communications ....................706-253-2271Comcast ................................... 1-866-774-3128Windstream ..................................800-501-1754TELEPHONEWindstream ..................................800-501-1754Windstream ..................................770-479-2000AT&T ..........................................888-757-6500Outside Georgia ...........................800-356-3094ETC Communications .................706-253-2271Nelson-Ball Ground/TDS ...........770-735-2000


Cherokee County Health Dept ....770-345-7371Environmental Health ..................770-479-0444Northside Hospital-Cherokee ......770-720-5100South Cherokee Health Dept. ......770-928-0133Cherokee County Mental Health ....770-704-1600WellStar/Kennestone Hospital .....770-793-5000

newcomer informationIf you are a newcomer to Cherokee County, the following information will be helpful as you settle in your new home. For any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact your Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce at 770-345-0400.

POLICE AND FIREFor all emergencies ........................................911GA State Patrol ............................706-692-4835Sheriff ’s Office .............................678-493-4200County Marshall ..........................678-493-6200Fire Marshall ................................678-493-6290

DRIVER INFORMATIONDriver’s License ...........................770-720-3693Driver’s License Appointments ....678-413-8500Tag Office .....................................678-493-6400(Out-of-state drivers have 30 days to obtain a Georgia driver’s license.)

VOTER INFORMATION Voter Registration ........................770-479-0407

SCHOOL REGISTRATIONChildren must be five years old on or before Sept. 1 to enter kindergarten and six or older on or before Sept. 1 to enter first grade in Cherokee County. To register your child in school you will need two proofs of residency, a certified birth certificate, a vision, hearing and dental screen from a physician or health clinic and immunization records on Georgia State Form 3032. For more information, or to register your child, please call the Cherokee County Board of Education at 770-479-1871, or visit www.cherokee.k12.ga.us.


CITY HALLSBall Ground ..................................770-735-2123Canton..........................................770-704-1500Holly Springs ...............................770-345-5536Nelson ..........................................770-735-2211Waleska ........................................770-479-2912Woodstock ....................................770-926-8852COUNTYGeneral Information.....................678-493-6000Animal Control ............................678-493-6200 (continued on page 64)

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newcomer information


Animal Shelter .............................770-345-7270Building Permits ...........................770-721-7810Business License ...........................770-721-7810Cherokee Family Learning Center ..770-720-1685Commissioners Office ..................678-493-6000County Attorney ..........................678-493-6001County Extension Service ............770-479-0418District Attorney ..........................678-493-6300EMA ............................................678-493-4080Engineering ..................................678-493-6077Family Violence Services ..............770-479-1804Geographic Information ...............678-493-6051Humane Society ...........................770-928-5115Marriage License ..........................678-493-6160Planning and Zoning ...................678-493-6101Probate Court (24 hrs) .................678-493-6160Property Tax .................................678-493-6120Public Transportation (CATS) .....770-345-6238Recycling Center ..........................770-516-4195Roads & Bridges ..........................770-345-5842Senior Services .............................770-479-7438Septic Tank Inspections ................770-479-0444Soil Conservation .........................678-493-6069South Cherokee Annex ................770-928-0239Tax Assessor .................................678-493-6120Tax Commissioner........................678-493-6400Vital Records ................................770-928-0133STATEChild Support Enforcement .........770-720-3581Department of Transportation .....770-387-3640 Family & Children’s Services ........770-720-3610Forestry Commission ...................770-720-3525GA Dept. of Labor .......................770-528-6100GA Public Service Comm. ...........404-656-4501Immigration .................................404-221-0999 Secretary of State’s Office .............404-656-2881Social Security ..............................800-772-1213State Govt. Directory Assistance ....404-656-2000Veteran Services ...........................770-720-3538

NEWSPAPER Atlanta Journal-Constitution .......404-526-5151Cherokee Ledger News ................770-928-0706Cherokee Tribune .........................770-479-1441

RADIORome Radio Partners/South 107 ..706-291-9496WLJA 101.1 FM ......................... 678-454-9350


POPULATION TRENDS FOR CHEROKEE COUNTY 2012 EstimateCherokee County 218,286Ball Ground 1,433Canton 23,380Holly Springs 9,189Nelson 599Waleska 644Woodstock 24,346Source: U.S. Census Bureau

POPULATION PROJECTIONS2015 264,2852020 309,1502025 360,7342030 415,826

INCOMEMedian Household Income $66,320Per Capita Income $30,217Median Age 34

2012 TOTAL NUMBER OF HOUSES Total Total Dwellings 85,158Owner-Occupied Dwellings 61,163Renter-Occupied Dwellings 17,055Housing Units Occupied 78,218

2012 SIzE OF HOUSEHOLD Total1 Person 14,7222 Person 25,464 3 Person 14,358 4 Person 13,901 5 Person 6,194 6+ Person 2,250

2012 TAxESEffective Property Tax $12.02 per $1000Millage Rate 30.049Local Sales Tax 2%State Sales Tax 4%


Cherokee County GovernmentCherokee County School DistrictKroger CompanyNorthside Hospital-CherokeePilgrims Pride CorporationPublix Super MarketsWal-Mart Associates, Inc.

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Community & Southern Bank has all the services and expertise big banks have,only in a friendlier size that is community-focused.

Two Convenient Locations Serving Cherokee County134 Keith Drive Canton, Georgia • 8770 Main Street Woodstock, Georgia

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